A Flame in the Night

The Legends of Aewyr Book 1

Young Adult - Fantasy - Epic
364 Pages
Reviewed on 03/14/2018
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Holland C. Kirbo retired (for the most part) from a successful legal career to focus on her family and her writing because she firmly believes words paint worlds in the mind. She's known to her family and friends as Holly, to her husband as Holls, and to her children as Mama, Mom, Moooooooooooooooom, and, on occasion, Mother (imagine exasperated eye roll and classic huff of testy adolescent). Today, she spends most of her time raising her twelve-year old triplets (two boys and a girl), assisting her husband in his law practice, and writing fiction. She's forever hauling her very active pre-teens all over creation. They keep her on her toes and on the go, but she wouldn't have it any other way. She's a Double Dawg, having received both her undergraduate business degree and her law degree from the University of Georgia, and she's convinced Athens, GA is the most fabulous place this side of heaven. She is the author of A Flame in the Night, the first book in her young adult epic fantasy series, The Legends of Aewyr, and the memoir Triple Treasures: Our Journey From Infertility Through The First Year With Triplets. She lives in Southwest Georgia with her family, their three dogs, and their three cats (she's all about symmetry).

    Book Review

Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite

A Flame in the Night by Holland C. Kirbo is the first book in The Legends of Aewyr series. What should be the happiest day for Lakyn's family quickly takes a turn when she sees a startling vision of her loved ones in fire. When her disturbing vision comes true, Lakyn destroys a zuhl to save her family, which is a feat that should be impossible, and somehow she survives. She captures the attention of the immortals of Perravia who believe her to be their savior, the only one with the ability to stop the god Maal and his evil army of zuhl and malum. She finds herself drawn to her trainer, the immortal Reuel, who seems to reciprocate her growing feelings when he's not busy hating her. She struggles to gain control over her confusing abilities, but time to save them is running out. Can she truly save them all if she can't even understand herself?

Lakyn is a strong-willed character who quickly captures readers' attention with a strength about her that's refreshing. She easily admits her faults and her shortcomings, and is never afraid to speak her mind or stand up for herself, even when it's against a bunch of immortals. Compassion and loyalty are her strongest factors, driving her abilities and her heart. Her powers send her on a new path when she defends her sister and new nephew by instantly making her a hero long before her training begins. In a poignant moment she makes a promise to a dying mother cat to care for her young cub. This is one of her strongest moments, because she fights to save his life, even though he's a ferocious feline predator the immortals want to kill because he'll one day grow up to be vicious. The little cub is the first most obvious instance that not everything is as it seems, as it's just a helpless and innocent kitten going against the stereotypes they expect him to be. He also provides some levity as he often gets into things with a personality known to cats and is even given a simple name, which makes him stand out against the other more unique names of the characters.

Lakyn handles a lot of conflict primarily with the immortals, but nothing is more complicated than her relationship with Reuel. They have a great deal of chemistry and the passion between them heats up more with each scene they share, balanced out by Reuel's hot and cold act with her, jumping from being suspicious to protecting her. Holland C. Kirbo weaves together multiple perspectives with complicated motives, a rich history, and plenty of family friction. A Flame in the Night is a dazzling adventure mixed with a hero's journey and the beginning of a romance that can't be missed.

K.J. Simmill

The birth of her sister's child stirred a gift Lakyn had never imagined. All it took was one touch of the newborn and she had a vision, one of fire and violence. A dangerous force sought the child, but why anyone would wish to harm a baby was beyond her. Then there were the dreams, a similar theme of fire, but this time it was she who was trapped, at first by her own fear, and then by a man who barred her path. Her mother suggested perhaps, given how long she had had the dreams, that there was something divine in their nature, something that needed to be understood, and how right she was. Unbeknownst to Lakyn, the world is changing, dark forces have awoken in the west, and most of Theranyn has fallen to Maal, the ruler of Hael, who wishes to force himself into physical form and take their world for his own. Her nephew's birth was a thing of significance, a catalyst, but not in the way anyone had expected.

Holland C. Kirbo has an excellent writing style filled with rich and beautifully descriptive narrative, fantastic world building, and an array of unique and interesting characters forged into their own person by their unique experiences. There is no choice but to be drawn into this fabulous world, and marvel at all within. Rich histories, myths, and attention to detail have all been woven to create this amazing tale, and since A Flame in the Night is the first book in The Legends of Aewyr series, it shows fantastic promise for the rest of the series. This book really made it easy to get excited about fantasy. I loved the complexity, the characters, and the obvious thought and scope that has clearly gone into its writing. I am looking forward to book two.

Divine Zape

A Flame in the Night is the first book in The Legends of Aewyr series by Holland C. Kirbo, a compelling entry in a series that will delight fans of young adult and epic fantasy. This is a novel with a phenomenal conflict, involving a dark god, Maal, who is about to conquer realms and kingdoms, subjugating everyone in the land of Aewyr with his ruthless cronies. The immortals, the only ones that the world has depended on for protection, are falling short of what it takes to stop this evil force. But then hope comes in the form of a human being, a young woman called Lakyn Trahearne, who discovers that she has extraordinary powers — and the gods have never blessed anyone with such powers. Follow this character as she struggles — with the help of immortal Reuel — to harness her powers. But can she discover the strengths and limits of her gifts in time to withstand the worse assault from the evil one?

The story is beautifully written and I couldn’t help but fall for the protagonist. The learning journey of the protagonist is interesting and I enjoyed that she is not introduced as already skilled. Her relationship with Reuel is characterized by friction and the interesting thing is that they both feel attracted to each other and, at the same time, they experience a deep sense of distrust. The author uses this relationship to keep readers engaged, arousing their curiosity to discover what will become of the two. The conflict is well developed and the pacing is fast, punctuated by intense action and emotionally charged scenes. A Flame in the Night is a great read, engaging and satisfying. I look forward to the next book in the series.